svalbard global seed vault photos

Svalbard Global Seed Vault Photos


The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is an 800km (497 mile) scientific facility from the North Pole. It's the world's biggest secure seed storage, containing over 1 million samples of 5,000 crop species. It's also known as the Doomsday Vault.

It's situated inside an old mining tunnel deep in an icy mountain. The Seed Vault guards against loss of genetic material due to war, disasters, etc. It houses 4.5 metre-high-pallet racking systems with 960 sample boxes. The thick steel walls protect from seismic activity, fire and floods, making it one of the most secured places on earth.

Digital security measures are also present. Registered users have access to digital copies of all data stored in the vault. This provides tracking and secure data management. This ensures genetic diversity and available crop diversity remain inaccessible until needed – when disaster strikes and restoring genetic values is crucial to agricultural sustainability.


The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is located in the frozen Arctic archipelago of Norway. It safeguards one million crop varieties, helping to secure global food sources. The vault was built in 2008 and is funded by multiple governments and foundations.

Let's explore its history:


The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a secure underground facility near Longyearbyen, Norway. It was set up in 2008 with the mission of preserving a wide range of plant seeds from everywhere. As of 2021, over 1 million samples of crop varieties from all over the world are stored there. The temperature inside the vault is kept between -18 and -20 degrees Celsius.

The vault is designed to protect the seeds from extreme temps, high humidity, and other environmental factors for centuries. Scientists and agriculturalists can access gene banks and adapt global crops in response to changing conditions like global warming or urbanization. This also means resources lost due to civil unrest or natural disasters can be replenished during global crisis. Since it began, the vault has been a huge help in safeguarding genetic diversity.

The Construction

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was built between 2006 and 2008. It's located in Longyearbyen, Svalbard – 130 meters above sea level. The vault itself is buried deep into the mountain, between 120 – 390 meters underground. This ensures safe storage and access of seed samples under different climate conditions.

Two tunnels, each 394-meter-long, were built into the permafrost at the top of the Arctic Circle. These tunnels insulate against moisture and heat to protect the millions of seeds against disasters or climate change.

The tunnel walls are made from thick concrete. This prevents flooding and erosion and maintains a temperature of -18ºC inside the enclosures.

The back end of each tunnel holds three vaults. These contain all the stored seeds in specially designed containers that remain durable through extreme temperature fluctuations and humidity changes. Specialized equipment is used to monitor humidity and temperature levels inside and outside the storage facilities. This helps preserve the seed samples.


The Svalbard Global Seed Vault rests on the far-off island of Spitsbergen, Norway. It sits deep within a sandstone mountain. This formation is perfect to protect the Vault's treasures, as it's dry and cold.

The Vault is a secure storage spot created to keep the world's agricultural variety safe. Its remote spot is easy to access when needed, making it the ideal place for the planet's seeds.


The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is situated on the remote Arctic island of Spitsbergen in Norway. This area is part of the Arctic Svalbard archipelago. It is a complex system of fjords, with dense settlements and mining operations. Snow and ice covers the land for much of the year, providing a great climate for seed preservation.

The Seed Vault consists of 3 parts:

  1. A tunnel is dug roughly 130 meters under the permafrost.
  2. An above-ground steel structure contains the seed storage units and refrigerators.
  3. An entrance building is connected to the main facility by an underground tunnel.

Inside the tunnel, the containers are placed in insulated rooms and separated with airlocks. The ideal temperature for seed storage is -18°C (0°F). There are also systems that monitor humidity and temperature constantly. Refrigerators keep temperatures around -30°C (-22°F).


The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is in the Svalbard, Norway archipelago. It is located at 78° N latitude. Surprisingly, the climate is mild due to the Gulf Stream. This warm ocean current brings air and water from the south.

Winter lasts from October to April. Temperatures range from -7° C to 10° C. The seed vault is 220 meters above sea level and is covered with 1-2 meters of snow. The winter sunlight does not exceed 4 hours a day. Summers can be warm, but still too cool for germination or growth inside the facility. May temperatures are 7° C and September temperatures are 16° C.


Deep inside a mountain in the Arctic Circle lies the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It stores seeds from around the world, in special containers. Thousands of different kinds of seeds are kept safe inside.

Let's take a peek at some photos of this amazing place!

Inside the Vault

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. An icy tunnel, dug into the mountainside, leads to a door made from concrete and iron plates. Inside, tunnels and chambers crisscross the permafrost, lined with metals like stainless steel and titanium. They house millions of seed samples.

On the walls, arrows mark the extreme cold on one side, and intense heat on the other. Cameras monitor every movement and a computer system tracks each seed sample. Artifacts document its history: stamps, coins, photos of local customs and landscapes.

In the vault, specialized shelving units reach 7 meters high. In the darkness, only silence can be heard. Something special lies in these delicate boxes…

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault Facility

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a secure seed bank located in the Arctic Svalbard archipelago. It stores thousands of seeds from all over the world. The facility is built 130 metres (430 feet) above sea level. It consists of three reinforced concrete vaults that can store up to 4.5 million batches of seeds. Each batch contains 500-700 different varieties.

Since its opening in 2008, more than 960 000 samples have been donated and stored away in this permafrost-protected fortress. Its purpose is to safeguard against the loss of global genetic diversity in case of disasters, such as natural disasters, drought, war and human prejudice.

It is also a refuge for millions of different seeds, which can be used to develop new crops if traditional crops are affected by climate change or pests. This will ensure future generations' ability to grow their own food.

The Seed Depositories

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is an insurance policy for other seed banks worldwide. It's located in the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, 800 miles away from the North Pole. There, perfect permafrost storage conditions provide a backup.

The vault holds millions of seed packets, with thousands more added each year. It's made up of 3 large seed repositories: one each underground in a mountain, a different mountain near it, and an even bigger one further up the mountain. The depository is energy efficient and resilient to fire, water, and extreme temperatures. It's also monitored for temperature swings and watered regularly.

Seeds are stored in 20-ft containers with 500 plate-like trays of food-grade plastic. Each tray contains packets of hundreds of varieties with hundreds or thousands of seeds apiece. The depository is kept at -18°C (-0.4°F) with air circulation and uniform humidity levels. Fans and heating elements running inside the walls and ceilings create enough cooling capacity to sustain cooler temperatures even if ventilation is lost.


To sum up, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a fantastic resource. It was made to guard plant diversity. Disclousure rules forbid taking photos inside. But, external photos give us an insight into the architecture and engineering needed to safeguard the seeds from disasters- both man-made and natural. Knowing how this structure fits into its environment and landscape is also invaluable.

As climate change worsens, food insecurity rises. Thus, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is vital for protecting crop diversity around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where can I find photos of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault?

A: You can find photos of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on the official website of Crop Trust or on various online platforms like Getty Images, Flickr, and Shutterstock.

Q: Are there any restrictions on the use of photos of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault?

A: Yes, there might be restrictions on the use of photos of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault as it is a high-security area. You should check the terms and conditions of the platform where you found the photo or contact the relevant authority to get permission to use the photo.

Q: Can I visit the Svalbard Global Seed Vault?

A: No, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is not open to the public. However, you can visit the nearby Svalbard Museum to know more about the seed vault and see a replica of its entrance.

Q: Why was the Svalbard Global Seed Vault built?

A: The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was built as a backup to the world's seed collections to safeguard them from natural or man-made disasters, climate change, and war, and to ensure that the world's plant genetic resources are available for future generations.

Q: Who manages the Svalbard Global Seed Vault?

A: The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is managed by the Norwegian government, but the Seed Vault Partnership, consisting of the Crop Trust, NordGen, and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), provides financial and technical support.

Q: How many seeds can the Svalbard Global Seed Vault hold?

A: The Svalbard Global Seed Vault has a capacity to store up to 4.5 million varieties of crops, which can hold more than 2.5 billion seeds. As of 2021, the seed vault has over 1.05 million seed samples from almost every country in the world.

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